Top 6 Reasons You Should Add Weights To Your WorkoutThere are several benefits to adding weight training to your fitness regime.  While there are obvious ones, there are many others that one should also consider.  Below are 6 that you may or may not be aware of.

  1. Lowers risk for osteoporosis – Osteoporosis gets more common as we age. As the minerals in bones are lost, bones become weaker, more brittle, and leave you more susceptible to fractures from falls.  Lifting weights (combined with some impact) has proven to not only mitigate bone mass loss, but also stimulate osteogenesis (generation of new bone mass).  Furthermore, it appears that this effect isn’t exclusive to older individuals either, even adolescents can benefit from this. There seems to be a myth floating around health/fitness subculture that weight training in adolescents will stunt the growth and cause premature closure of the epiphysis. The reality is that neither of those would occur do to resistance training, and if anything, adolescents will likely have improved bone health over their non-weightlifting peers.
  2. Lowers risk for diabetes  – Studies have shown that weight training will increase your glucose tolerance, and decrease your insulin response to glucose. The opposite of these two findings are commonly found in pre-diabetic, and diabetic patients.
  3. Increases metabolic rate – In a nutshell, when you train with weights (intensely enough), you tear down muscle tissue, and after allowing proper recovery and providing nourishment you rebuild that muscle tissue. Given that muscle tissue is more metabolically demanding than adipose tissue, by building muscle you inherently are elevating metabolic rate. This means that you will burn more calories at rest and during exercise with more muscle mass. Increases in muscle mass also decrease the likelihood of weight fluctuations that commonly result from drastic dietary changes alone.
  4. Lowers risk of injury – Increasing strength and muscle tone will allow joints to withstand greater strain.  Lifting weights can also improve balance and help reduce the risk of falls.
  5. Improves overall functional fitness- The ability to sit down and stand up without help. Carrying groceries up a flight of stairs. Getting in and out of a car. Being able to cut your food with a knife. These are things that many people take for granted; until you can’t do it anymore. It’s a fact that more people are in nursing homes (and assisted living communities) because they cannot complete activities of daily living than are there because of symptoms of a specific disease.
  6. Improves Sleeping – Strength training has proven to aid in your sleeping patterns as well.  From falling asleep to maintain more restorative sleep through the night.

 

References:

1. Castaneda, C., Layne, J. E., Munoz-Orians, L., Gordon, P. L., Walsmith, J., Foldvari, M., … & Nelson, M. E. (2002). A randomized controlled trial of resistance exercise training to improve glycemic control in older adults with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes care, 25(12), 2335-2341.

2. Fenicchia, L. M., Kanaley, J. A., Azevedo Jr, J. L., Miller, C. S., Weinstock, R. S., Carhart, R. L., & Ploutz-Snyder, L. L. (2004). Influence of resistance exercise training on glucose control in women with type 2 diabetes. Metabolism, 53(3), 284-289.

3. Ishii, T., Yamakita, T., Sato, T., Tanaka, S., & Fujii, S. (1998). Resistance training improves insulin sensitivity in NIDDM subjects without altering maximal oxygen uptake. Diabetes care, 21(8), 1353-1355.

4. Dunstan, D. W., Daly, R. M., Owen, N., Jolley, D., De Courten, M., Shaw, J., & Zimmet, P. (2002). High-intensity resistance training improves glycemic control in older patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes care, 25(10), 1729-1736.

5. Maddalozzo, G. F., & Snow, C. M. (2000). High intensity resistance training: effects on bone in older men and women. Calcified tissue international, 66(6), 399-404.

6. Layne, J. E., & Nelson, M. E. (1999). The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density: a review. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 31(1), 25-30.

7. Blimkie, C. J. R., Rice, S., Webber, C. E., Martin, J., Levy, D., & Gordon, C. L. (1996). Effects of resistance training on bone mineral content and density in adolescent females. Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 74(9), 1025-1033.

8. Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2005). Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports Medicine, 35(4), 339-361.

9. Schilke, J. M., Johnson, G. O., Housh, T. J., & O’Dell, J. R. (1996). Effects of muscle-strength training on the functional status of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Nursing research, 45(2), 68-72

10. Kell, R. T., Bell, G., & Quinney, A. (2001). Musculoskeletal fitness, health outcomes and quality of life. Sports Medicine, 31(12), 863-873.

11. Daşkapan, A., Tonga, E., Durutürk, N., & Tüzün, E. H. (2012). Effects of two different quadriceps strengthening exercise approaches on cardiovascular fitness in healthy female subjects: A single blind randomized study. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 25(2), 81-87.

12. Roveda, Eliana, et. Al. Effects of endurance and strength acute exercise on night sleep quality. International SportMed Journal. 2011; 12(3): 113-124.

13. Hagerman, F. C., Walsh, S. J., Staron, R. S., Hikida, R. S., Gilders, R. M., Murray, T. F., … & Ragg, K. E. (2000). Effects of high-intensity resistance training on untrained older men. I. Strength, cardiovascular, and metabolic responses. The journals of gerontology series A: Biological Sciences and medical sciences, 55(7), B336-B346.